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Canadian Pacific officials today used the Christmas holiday period to promote their belief that CP's proposed takeover of Norfolk Southern Corp. would benefit the Chicago-area rail hub.Noting that some Class Is will cease service during the upcoming Christmas holiday, CP said the CP-NS merger would help alleviate traffic congestion in the Chicago region and create opportunities for rail competitors to provide "improved service" to their own customers.In a prepared statement, CP officials said that Union Pacific Railroad, CSX Corp. and NS will halt service through Chicago during Dec. 24-25."We have a responsibility to our customers not to forget that gridlock in Chicago crippled the industry in the winter of 2014 and threatened to cripple the economy," said Keith Creel, CP president and chief operating Officer. "We need to work together as an industry to keep Chicago fluid and the economy growing, and innovation is the key." A full shutdown of service through Chicago by a number of railroads would prevent an agile response if the weather or customer demand suddenly shifted, CP officials said."Optionality, agility, efficiency and service are at the heart of our proposal and we urge all stakeholders to examine the benefits of a CP-NS combination," said Creel.The impact on Chicago has been at the heart of some rail industry and political leaders' questions and concerns about the proposed merger. It's also not unusual for Class Is to cease service on parts of their networks over the two-day Christmas holiday.
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